Monday, January 5, 2009
from nerd-chic to handiness with a makeshift tattoo gun
Simon Bookish - Everything/Everything (lala) comes recommended and deftly illuminated by The Architectural Dance Society. Pushing past the irresistible nerd-chic of the cover, Bookish creates lavish art songs strained through a Human League colander. A smart as hell way to start the first work hours of 2009. Andrew Bird for those who still remember a little AP calculus. Among my loose resolutions for 2009 is that I want my media intake to be of a smarter sort, but that is really a veneer over "In 2009, I'd like to fritter away less hours watching House reruns" and truthfully, it's a resolution I doubt I will stick to. House is pretty funny. But smart music, sure, let's do this thing.
Other People's Love Songs by Corey Dargel (lala) is that very sort of stuff I'm talking about. Imagine a less sour Magnetic Fields running a radio-show shout-out program via the auspices of PostSecret. And the guy from The Buggles is the studio engineer. Dargel renders the common sentiments of common love over congenial beeps and bloops, but the twist is that he did these on commission for people to send to others. He's not unlike the guy in prison that reveals his handiness with a makeshift tattoo gun; the subjects and canvases are not those of his choosing, but the beauty of the transaction comes solely from his handiwork. In keeping with the conceptual edge of the project, Dargel's music and voice are submerged in the waters of the material, water which is made sparkling and clear with his wit and compassionate delivery.
Loren Mazzacane Conors' Hell's Kitchen Park (lala) is sentimentality of a cloudier sort, with somnambulistic strums of his guitar and stray notes creeping out like feeder vines from the thicket that is love. Like the things you truly love, the presence of this music becomes an ambiance occasionally catching your attention with something particularly special, not because it is trying to be special, but because it is special.